Anna Oestreich, executive director of the Bond County Senior Center and Bond County Transit, reports that the absence of a state budget has led to changes for senior citizens using the transit system and the meal programs.
Oestreich said in the past the senior fare of $1.10 per ride has been a suggested donation. Beginning February 1st, the fee will be required to be paid and is being increased to $1.50 per ride, which is still discounted from the regular adult fare.
“Because we will not be receiving any subsidies after February 1 that would offset losses for senior individuals that feel they’re unable to pay that, we will not be able to provide them with a ride,” Oestreich told WGEL.
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Oestreich said to adjust to the reduction in funding, the senior center will not provide meals on Fridays and Meals on Wheels will be limited to four days per week. The center will remain open for other services.
Oestreich is urging local residents to contact legislators, the governor and other leaders about the service cuts that have occurred due to the lack of a state budget.
She told WGEL this could have a long-lasting adverse affect on senior citizens.
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The senior center is preparing to begin the annual nutrition fundraiser March For Meals. She hopes local support will be enough to help the center compete for the first place grant of $20,000 from the Meals On Wheels Association of America.